ICYMI: ‘Trill League’ Author Wants More Black Creators in Comic Books

By Sameer Rao May 01, 2017

Illustrator Anthony Piper created his "Trill League" web comics series to satirize Batman, Superman and other members of DC Comics’ "Justice League" while reimagining them as Black.rn

rnBut what initially started with a parody of Batman’s sidekick Robin—"Trill Robin," a kid from Chicago’s South Side—has grown into a forthcoming graphic novel and under-consideration animated show for Cartoon Network’s late-night programming block, Adult Swim. As he explained to Complex in an interview published Thursday (April 27), Piper ultimately hopes that "Trill League" will open spaces for other Black comic creators. 

"[Black artists] dominated different outlets as far as music, fashion and slowly we’re starting to get into TV and film, but comics and art definitely has been something where our voice has been not as loud," he said. "I think that’s an area where Whites and Asians have been a dominant force, and there are a lot of Black creators out there who have a lot of dope ideas but we don’t really get the opportunity. So I think if ["Trill League"] truly does get turned into something, it’d be a huge contribution because it’ll be something completely different that’s never been seen before." 

Piper, who also co-authored a one-off Ghost Rider comic with Method Man for Marvel, told Complex that the show will channel the legacy of several popular comedy programs with Black protagonists:

Right now, we want to go for a late night, half an hour series. Pretty much something in the same vein as "The Boondocks." I mean, that’s pretty much what people relate it to and it’s kind of like the successor of "The Boondocks" so that’s how we want to present it to ’em. The series will take a lot of what made the comic popular, but, we also want to do a lot of ’80s and ’90s nostalgia because I feel like that’s the era that the readers are into. Not only stuff that’s current today but stuff that influenced us like "Martin," "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Living Single," stuff like that. For instance, Swolemayne, who’s the Superman parody, I want his apartment to look like Martin’s because two of the characters play off like Martin and Pam, how they’re always bickering.

Learn more about Trill Robin, Swolemayne and the other members of the Trill League on Facebook, where Piper posts most of the comics.